field guide training

The Bushwise 23- or 50-week course is the ideal platform for a successful career in the African safari lodge industry and many international wildlife conservation careers. All trainers are highly qualified are from The Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).


The course is both theoretical and practical and includes an optional 6-months work placement at an exclusive lodge in one of South Africa’s iconic game reserves or a top wildlife research institution.


The foundation of the course is structured around the FGASA (Field Guide Association of Southern Africa) syllabus, which will give you an in depth knowledge and understanding of Southern African Fauna and Flora. The curriculum further includes bush skills such a wildlife tracking, shooting competency, 4×4 driving, outdoor first aid, wildlife photography, wildlife surveying techniques and in-depth knowledge and practical application of subjects such as conservation, ecology, reserve management, geology and animal behaviour.


Unlike many other training providers, this course focuses on practical skills and gives students a regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo and Hippo. This invaluable experience gives students excellent grounding for any of our placements and future employment in ‘Big Five’ game reserves, research and conservation jobs in Africa and beyond. This is an experience you will never forget!

the  course includes:

  •  Pre-departure support
  • Accomodation
  • Meals (not during off-weeks)
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  •  SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • CATHSSETA (The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from O.R. Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue (50-week course only)

personal qualifications

No day is the same on the course. Each day you will be learning something new but Bushwise has a daily structure in place so that we all get into a routine. However, things will remain flexible depending on the needs of the student, the season and the program requirements. Although we aim to give a balance of theory and practical training at all times, the program is focused on bombarding you with knowledge and wonders of the bush in both practical drives and lectures. 


So be prepared to work hard and get studying! A typical day varies but the day will often start early at around 5.30 – 6am.


Therefore please be aware that there are long days ahead of you and you need to invest many hours, in order to pass both the theoretical as well as the practical exams. You need to achieve at least 75% - otherwise we cannot offer you a work placement. The trainers and staff will do everything to support you. Yet, it is necessary for you to have the motivation to learn.


The Bushwise Field Guide course is no holiday and we are looking for dedicated and motivated students. 


Minimum age requirements:

23 weeks: 18 years

50 weeks: 21 years

course overview

Option 1: 23 weeks

23 week FGASA training and final Field Guide Level I exam incl. further qualifications (see course description).



23 week course: € 14.450,-

Option 2: 50 weeks

23 week FGASA training as well as a subsequent 6-months work placement at one of South Africas top lodges or wildlife research institutions.


50 week course: € 15.950,-

bushwise field guides

Upfront information regarding the Field Guide Training will be provided by ROKA Travel. The actual training and work placement will be organised and operated by Bushwise Field Guides in Limpopo (South Africa).


For further information please check: